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Joint panel tries to hammer out final version of gun bill

An eight-person committee of state House and Senate members is working on a last-minute compromise to a comprehensive gun bill that could go before both chambers in the coming days.

Four representatives and senators – all Republicans – are hoping to find middle ground after the Senate last month added a provision to the bill that would repeal the state’s purchase permit system.

The bill originally sought to allow concealed carry permit holders to bring handguns into bars or carry them in locked cars on college campuses and government parking lots.

It also sought to create a uniform state standard for reporting mental health and drug abuse information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The Senate added the provision to repeal the permit system in June before approving the legislation.

Last week, the House delayed a debate on the bill and sent the measure to a conference committee.

Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, R-Mecklenburg, a committee member, said the sides are continuing to negotiate on the bill’s language but expects it to move in coming days.

The N.C. General Assembly is likely to end this week.

Unlike most other states, North Carolina requires would-be gun owners to apply for a purchase permit from their sheriff.

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